SINGAPORE: The National Environment Agency has observed an increase in the number of dengue cases in early January.
There were a total of 208 dengue cases, which is unusual for January, a month that does not fall under the typical April to October peak transmission period.
This is an increase from the 135 and 112 cases reported in the preceding two weeks.
The community is reminded to take preventive steps to remove stagnant water in their homes.
The total number of cases notified in 2013 (till January 12) was 342 — approximately a two—and—a—half—fold increase over the same period in 2012.
This could be associated with a possible increase in the less common Dengue Type 1 (DEN—1) virus, which the community has lower immunity against.
DEN—2 is the predominant dengue serotype circulating in Singapore, showing up in 75 per cent of dengue cases sampled in the past five years, and DEN—1 serotype shows up in less than 25 per cent of sampled cases on average.
In recent months the proportion of DEN—1 cases has been increasing, with most recent results showing 30 per cent of dengue samples containing the DEN—1 serotype.
NEA will step up its dengue prevention efforts and the public is urged to be more vigilant in keeping homes and their immediate surroundings mosquito—free.
It will deploy more manpower resources to target areas where DEN—1 has been circulating, install Gravitraps to monitor and trap the adult mosquito population, and work with grassroots to step up community outreach.
NEA has also alerted members of the Inter—Agency Dengue Task Force including LTA, HDB, PUB, NParks and Town Councils to step up their inspections of outdoor breeding habitats in the properties, buildings and development sites that they manage.
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